Startup Escalation 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 A Prequel Beyond 2011 A Sequel .
Superhuman World 2010 is a work of fiction. The characters herein and the commentary about them should not be considered "real".
SUPERHUMAN WORLD 2010
Beyond the Door
October - November 2010
The Earth I'm coming from is on a downward spiral. If you have a choice, is it morally better to go all the way down, or to go to an Earth that's already hit bottom and wants to come up? I'm guessing, the latter. And so are people who are sponsoring me.
To help my Earth, I'm representing it to the Omniverse. But there's a lot of cleanup to do first - including some personal stuff.
(signed) Wyatt Ferguson.
28 October 2010: Kristi and I have made it past the Sunset Door, with help on the home end. We'd aimed to get to the capital twin city, Québec-Warsaw St. Lawrence. But this probably isn't it.
As nearly as I could figure, we landed near Indianapolis. I grew up here. But its landscape was different. The lovely sunset we saw through the Sunset Door, was in a vacant lot I recognized. In my world, it was a hotel.
We came ready to camp if we had to. But I thought it wise to walk a mile into town: Speedway, Indiana. I grew up three miles west in Clermont, but we used to shop in Speedway all the time.
Speedway was different. I saw the old shopping center, but forest had started growing back. But still, one shop was open! It advertised real coffee and CDs. Hmm, I think CDs might be a new technology in this universe.
We went in. The shop had one customer, who looked about 80 years old. He looked up and said, "Wyatt Ferguson?"
And so we got help from a cop I used to know. He still lived in town, because dammit.
29 October 2010: We're waiting in Speedway, because my policeman friend says travel isn't safe. I'm inclined to believe him.Kristi insisted I start sharing what I know about this world. Here it is.
In 1985 or so, the Soviets were launching a limited nuclear first strike, and it was working. NATO couldn't get anything up in response! Only later did they find out, their enemies were using demons instead of nukes. Demons were able to neutralize science-based weapons and raise the right sort of poisonous fireballs.
I found this out because I visited this world in 2003. By then, their North American civilization had been mostly reduced to survivalist magicians in Québec. I figured I'd help... by indwelling a famous omniversal destroyer, sending it against a third Earth which I had a grudge against, and having it transplant Warsaw from that universe's Poland into Survivalist Québec! Really.
I came back briefly in 2005. Québec City and Warsaw had merged into a world capital - and Ellipsis was using it as a base to fight the United Nations in my world! Really. I helped eject Ellipsis from there, but I didn't have much chance to see the state of the world. Now I guess Kristi and I get to make up for that.
This time I've come on a mission from the U.S. Gov. My home world is having a famine, sufficient to not entirely feed six or seven billion people. We'll never save them all, not even all U.S. residents. So I have been authorized as ambassador to this world, and look for places to put emigrants. It appears this world could use immigrants, so a deal is likely. I just need to get to Warsaw-St. Lawrence to make it.
31 October 2010: Now we have an escort. Israeli soldiers have made it here, as mercenaries. They don't talk much about what happened to Israel. But they go about their business with machine guns slung, just like anywhere.
Tonight, one of them admitted he's a temple prostitute. We are united in not caring... This world has temples. And between the lines of what certain news stories and historical records say, most Israelis (and Israelites!) have always been both secular and practical.
1 November 2010: We travel about eight hours a day but we make about four, due to broken-down roads and security measures. There's banditry along these roads.
We got into Fort Wayne in time to see Barack Obama on campaign. It's better to build a cage than to stop Obama from bringing his favorite animal along. It's an attack dog - literally!
Mr. Obama is running for the U.S. Senate - in Indiana. Residency and election results have been different here for about twenty-five years, as have tastes in household animals.
3 November 2010: Near Toledo, we saw a pyramid being built. The Israelis said, they keep the evil spirits away. I know this world used to have a serious demon infestation, so I believe them.
7 November 2010: The Israelis are staying here in Toledo on station. Kristi and I are waiting for new travel partners. "Wait for travel partners" is actually a common state for most of human civilization, even though we modern Westerners are not used to it.
8 November 2010: Kristi and I are in a dormitory. Separate girl and boy rooms, of course. That's actually a very civilized way to travel. But my boy room smells like me, only 12x. Not for everyone where I come from... but it is for most everyone in this world.
When I was walking around town, I saw bums in a shopping mall, talking about security - and old comic books. Where I came from, we used to subsidize homeless people for security patrol. Perhaps this Earth has done this too - though it never worked out that well for mine.
Kristi went to see a high school debating team have a contest. It's refreshingly normal for her.
9 November 2010: Here in the dorm, people are getting stuff out of lockers for Wednesday morning Bible study. I'd usually come along, but no, not before 8 am. At least they're not taking all their stuff out, the way they have to at the homeless shelters where I come from.I've borrowed some of the Israelis' war games. One soldier has his own home-brewed game of Washington Territory in the U.S. Civil War. There are some Indian patrols, but mostly the territory has to send troops elsewhere. Israelis love low-key games with mobilization but no fighting... One of the dorm people accidentally knocked the game over while I was playing, but it didn't make much difference to my enjoyment of it.
10 November 2010: In Toledo we got our new traveling partner: a Chinese merchant named Matthew, with bodyguards. We made it to the border at Detroit.
Matthew had some secrets from us. He got out of his car at the duty-free store just before the border. He looked for something in his trunk. When he didn't find it, he ran for the store.
I'm curious, so I looked. All I found was a head in a bag. Uh oh.
Then six people with swords came out of cars, and pointed swords at me! I was thinking, Kristi, where are you?
Then Matthew came out and said, "Everything okay! All paid off!" He proudly flourished a receipt.
The people with swords got back in their cars, and drove off. Nobody else cared about them. But people were crowding around Matthew!
Matthew said, "Everyone want one. We leave now." Why yes we did. We gunned it for the border. The receipt even got him past... but while I wasn't looking, Kristi had disappeared. Hmm, whatever she'd done with her animal powers, Kristi could take care of herself. Me too, I hoped.
We stopped just across the border in Windsor. Matthew said, "All fine. We got permission to go."
Then Kristi reappeared. "That receipt says you signed it, Wyatt!"
Matthew said, "What? You Wyatt Ferguson? Sit back, relax! I pass your test! I get you some bourbon right now!"
"No! You haven't passed anything until you tell me what just happened!"
"My ex find me, give me big bill, I have to pay before border, but you pay it! Thank you thank you!"
Kristi silently handed me the receipt. It said $288,288... paid in full with my name on it.
I said to Matthew, "Just drive."
We got to a hotel. Canada still has a boundary with the U.S., and it has better hotels than the U.S. has now. That is to say, it has private rooms and not dormitories.
Kristi and I got a room together so we could talk. Matthew assumed the nasty of us, but we're just friends. Really.
Matthew's a smuggler. We knew that going in. It's just good to know, Kentucky is still capable of distilling bourbon which requires seven years to produce. And in every world where Canada and Kentucky both exist, Canada always wants to regulate good Kentucky bourbon passing its border. But I shudder to think of who would send ninjas to fight over it.
Kristi has all manner of animal powers, but she gets them one animal at a time. She has mosquito powers now! When she saw that receipt Matthew was waving, she shrank down and read it. It was a court judgment - and someone had paid it in my name! Now everyone wants one like it.
Twice upon a time, I shook this world. Then I left it. Apparently I'm still big news. And someone's literally carrying on in my name. Even if I weren't here on a mission, I would rightfully need to go look.
11 November 2010: We've made it to Brantford, Ontario. Not quite Toronto, but Toronto is no prize nowadays, since the demons nuked it in their own fashion. (When was it ever, in my own humble opinion. But then, I always tried to drive in instead of already living there.)
We stopped here because we saw a highway sign, "Ordered Realities Badge Station"! Matthew and I both knew we should stop there. I explained to Kristi again...
The Congress of Ordered Realities has always been a useful place for omniversal travelers to gather. It was headquartered in Warsaw, on an Earth which Poland had conquered. The Council of Ordered Realities used to try to govern the known universes from there. I personally figure-headed the efforts which stopped two such attempts, during my two previous visits. In most places I can't brag about that, but here I can. Someone is bragging now, in my name.
12 November 2010: Matthew's hired new bodyguards. Brantford is a good place for that. Wherever Ordered Realities has an office, omniversal travelers gather.
First came a large green radiation-powered gladiator who'd faked disability in another universe. (Hey, I've seen other big radiation men fake out the Army that way. Mine was golden.) But then an enemy of his showed up and chased him into orbit. The gladiator had wisely kept his rocket boots on.
There was a furry blob-like creature who called himself Hmoo. He didn't have enemies around, though dogs ran from him. Matthew hired him. He also hired two other traditional mercenaries, who were making rude jokes about sex on hang gliders... Whatever.
So there were six of us. We got badges together.
14 November 2010: We've gone past Kingston, Ontario. On my old map that's a convenient stopping point. But demons had their way with there too. Instead we're in nearby Gananoque, in an old cheap hotel a mile and a half out of town.
I walked into town for some beer. Yeah, Matthew could get me drunk nearby him, but it is my custom to go see things and not just get drunk. I invited Kristi, but she said she'd just wait for me.
Half a mile into town, just past the highway, I saw a woman walking around with Minnie Mouse ears. She was talking on a cell phone, of course. Whatever.
But another half mile on, something like a personal-sized comic-book craft swooped down in the air and hovered in front of me! Its rider was wearing a hat like mine. He said into a microphone, "I got this one on surplus sale. If you had to drive here, you've got to admit you're overmatched."
"Oh. Would you be Wyatt Ferguson?"
Heh. He had a microphone, but he was wearing a stylish hat instead of an array of super-powerful hearing devices. Maybe he really was me.
So I mouthed, "Some super-powerful master of the universes you are."
"Huh?" He swooped closer.
"Too bad those engines on your craft still don't let you hear me."
"Oh, dammit, let's talk." He landed.
"Well, okay. I can see you look like the Wyatt Ferguson who gives out free passes to merchants. Where do I get mine?"
"And you look like the Wyatt Ferguson who put me into exile off Earth!"
"You left me in bondage to a universal destroyer, while you went away free!"
"Oh, shit. If you're who I think you are, I think you got the better deal. That destroyer ate most of my soul. Which was you."
"Yeah, and then eventually it spit me out. On its diet, it gets plenty of souls to choose from."
"... Anyway, I recovered. It looks like you did too."
Then the ground shook! A behemoth-sized big red man was next to us. He said, "Hey, boss, you okay? I saw you grounded."
My counterpart said, "I'm fine. I've got this covered. Now go get ready for your milk ad tomorrow."
The red man jumped away. My counterpart said, "Radiation men are so easy to find nowadays."
"Ain't it the truth."
"I suppose we still need to talk, while your own bodyguards are away. Want a ride into town?"
We found a neighborhood dive bar. We both signed a commemorative banner for a fallen Canadian Forces trooper on peacekeeping mission in the U.S. Maybe people will gawk over our twin signatures tomorrow - but they'll probably just think we were joking, because we can't both be the famous Wyatt Ferguson, even if anyone recognizes us through these trenchcoats. We don't wear them just because they're stylish; in Ontario in November, trenchcoats make sense.
Then we had The Conversation...
The other Wyatt said, "I can't let you go any closer to Warsaw."
"Yeah, I gather you have a good deal here. And you earned it. But I kind of have to go on. I'm my world's ambassador to Ordered Realities. Aren't they used to alternate universes by now?"
"Yeah. But they're also used to representation duels."
"Oh, yeah... Now what is it you're representing?"
"I'm the Chancellor. Like Alan Stanjem used to be. I don't have a private army quite like his, but I'm not exactly helpless. Still, when someone says Representation Duel, everyone listens."
"Hmm... If you're the Chancellor, then you're qualified to receive my credentials right here." I handed an envelope over. No, I hadn't left it in in my room with smugglers and their bodyguards around. "That's half the mission right there."
"You can't really be the ambassador too well from here, though."
"Can I delegate to my deputy ambassador until we can send someone else? I brought Kristi."
"Yeah, that would work. Now what's this other half mission?"
"How would your world like half a world's worth of immigrants?"
Wyatt and I didn't talk much more that night, because the karaoke contest was starting. He passed on the singing. So did I, for once. But we got an agreement in principle on refugee settlement. In any case, Chancellor Wyatt's not going to back any effort to stamp out Sunset Doors from my world.
He handed me a news brief from my world before we parted. Oh, shit, he can do that. I read it later, with Kristi. The riots have started in Nashville-Tennessee, and outright rebellion is possible. If I were Ambassador, I'd set up bombing runs from across the universes.
Kristi wasn't eager, but the news from home helped. I got her to sign on as Deputy Ambassador. The Chancellor will be much more helpful in getting her settled in than I could hope to be.
The price of this agreement is, I'm leaving straight from here. Homeward, I hope. I'd like to come back to Vice-President Corrigan who actually appointed me as Ambassador (I can't believe I'm actually saying that) and report in person. But that seems unlikely right now. It was hard enough getting this far, even with help. To get back, I wanted help from Warsaw St. Lawrence where people specialize in such things. But that's not going to happen now.
So I've left a copy of this story with Kristi. She's going to send it back. If Chancellor Wyatt can get the news from my world, Kristi can get him to send the news to my world. I did agree to make him help her, after all. Dear Reader, if you see my news before you see me, you'll at least know what happened this far.
If you really want to worry about me, don't worry too much, because dammit. Up to now, not even gods, demons, Ultimate Darkness, and the mightiest superhumans of the Omniverse have been able to keep me away from home for long. Based on past history I have to say, a few months at best. And in the meantime, I'll survive.
This story is technically November 2010 #2. I'm writing it in 2011, but I file the story by when it happens in the characters' world. I usually fall one to two months behind in sorting out my concepts.
I think I wrote this story without outright referring to other publishers' concepts which I blatantly used in previous fan fictions that led to this situation. But just in case I can't, this story is not intended to violate any copyrights. In particular, Galactus and the Hulks are characters of Marvel Comics. But I will admit, the Hulks were targets of opportunity.
Some concepts came from Rec.Arts.Comics.Creative too, but not as many as they suggested. I kept the part where Wyatt got a legitimate job whose success would be determined at random, but dropped two challenges which would have led to his confronting a subterranean in a poetry slam. So I'm not declaring this to be inspired by High Concept Challenges. Still, certain people in the group might be pleased that I actually described the ambiance of the restaurant in the story this time.
Wyatt's random success for the challenge I accepted was "Fail". And it made sense for the story. RACC, you have therefore decided that all future Wyatt Ferguson stories will not be from the world of Warsaw St. Lawrence. So they're likely to be from his own apocalyptic homeworld. Hmm, I'll have to decide how I'll write those stories. I didn't want to write them, but I don't envision giving up writing. But I may take a break, or slow down this storyline to (say) Superhuman World 1999 levels, at one web page per year. Hey, maybe I'll start a new story!
All characters in this fiction and the phrase "Superhuman World 2010" are copyright © 2010 by Eiler Technical Enterprises. Yes, I'm pretty sure all these characters are mine this time.
The map of the Superhuman World is based on one from Henry Bottomley's map software which is well worth a visit.
(signed) Scott Eiler, 14 January 2011.